Saturday, May 24, 2008
Due to the surgery my company is allowing me to take a Leave of Absence and utilize my Long Term Disability benefit for a minimum of twelve weeks. The amazing coincidence here is that May 30th was originally the date that my employment would end with Sodexo. We now have more time to find an internal solution that will keep me employed.
Initially the decision to do the surgery was a difficult one. The greatest risk is another round of infections. For this reason I will be in the hospital for at least four to five days so they can monitor and fight any potential infections. My other concern was that it might be too difficult for me to walk after the abnormal bone is removed, thus making all of my progress over the last two and a half years pointless. When we first became aware of the abnormal bone the doctor at the time said that removing it would require the removal of 80% of a muscle that I need to walk. He didn't say that I wouldn't be able to walk, but that it would be too difficult and I might give up.
The new surgeon has informed me that the muscle in question is almost completely calcified, which means that I'm not using it now. If the muscle is currently useless then losing it should not affect my ability to walk. If I don't have the surgery, then over time I will develop serious back issues due to the angle that I have to hold my body when I walk or stand. Also, with the abnormal bone blocking my range of motion, I'm not utilizing my left femur as much as I should. Over time this will allow my femur to begin to deteriorate to the point that I won't be able to walk at all.
The surgery will reduce potential back issues, improve the health of my femur, increase my range of motion, give me greater ability to bear weight on the end of my stump, and bring my center of balance back inside my body instead of somewhere out in front. Once I'm released from the hospital I'll return home, where I'll spend much of my time doing exercises to regain my range of motion. I'll begin a new round of Physical Therapy, and my left prosthesis will need to be refit and adjusted for my new range of motion. It's going to be a lot of pain, and a lot of work, but I think the benefits outweigh the risk.
More important than all of that, I can't ignore the coincidence here. Every time I've stood or walked for the past two years I've uttered a fairly un-prayerful prayer that the bone in my hip wasn't there. Now, when my employment and benefit coverage is on the line the decision to remove it (which I didn't think was possible), and extend my employment, has been dropped in my lap. I have to recognize the hand of God in this.
Be sure to check late in the day on the 30th, or on the 31st, for an update on the surgery. I'm sure either Sarah or Colleen will fill everyone in.
We love you and will be anxious to hear how you're doing after recovery.
Heather and Family
I'll be thinkin' about you and hoping that the procedures and recovery go well/easy, with as little pain as possible, and that the benefits are fabulous for ya!!!
Harry and Lilla
Cousin Cindy in Salem
Good luck and just think of the delicious hospital food...hahaha
Paula & Kenyon